Marie-Dolorose Masika Woman of Courage 2014

Marie-Dolorose Masika with Ambassador James C. Swan and former Woman of Courage award winners. (State Dept. Images)On April 2, 2014, US Embassy Kinshasa awarded Marie- Dolorose Masika with the 2014 Woman of Courage Award during a ceremony at Ambassador James Swan’s residence.

Marie-Dolorose Masika is the founder of FEPSI, (Femmes engagées pour la promotion de la santé Intégrale), an NGO based in Butembo (North Kivu) which manages a hospital and offers comprehensive support to female victims of sexual violence.

In awarding Mrs. Masika the prize, Ambassador Swan said “Despite advances made against armed groups in eastern DRC, it is still common to see reports of mass rapes and women and children abducted and forced to serve in sexual servitude. Sexual violence is a crime that requires engagement at every level—local, national, and international. Locally, efforts by Marie-Dolorose and others who work in her field focus on providing lifesaving care to women and girls in addition to providing support for victims to recover and reintegrate into their home communities”.

Ambassador Swan delivers opening remarks. (State Dept. Images)The Woman of Courage award ceremony was also the occasion to present “Get Loud”, an album recorded to raise awareness on women issues. The album, by DRC rapper Alesh and his group “Mental Engage” has been produced with support by US Embassy Kinshasa. It is downloadable for free.